Sunday, August 25, 2013

Millennials & The Church, Part 1

By:  Angela Lee Price
If the Kingdom of God is to advance, it behooves the church to think innovatively in reaching the largest demographic, the Millennial Generation with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am sharing excerpts from my research paper, The Millennials, on the Jesus Saves Ministries Blog August 25th-31st as a seven-part series. Scroll down the blog to read Part 1, the Introduction and Part 2 on Demographics. Today's segment will address Cultural Influences. Wednesday's segment will look at Employment & Investment. Thursday & Friday, We will explore Ministry Implications and Saturday, I will recap and conclude the series. This research project was an eye-opener for me. If you are a pastor, minister, lay leader struggling to keep young people in your church, or just a concerned parent wondering why your young adult won't go to church, this should begin to help answer questions for you.
 
Part 1:  Introduction

A tidal wave of change is beating against our global shores. The Millennial Generation is coming of age, and with more than 78 million members, they are coming in like a flood.  For the marketers especially this means good news. They whistle while they work targeting goods, services, and experiences to a generation that has moved beyond the final frontier of space and time to boldly go where no man has gone before. However, the Psalmist declared in ancient of days, “I will cause Thy name to be remembered in all generations” (Ps. 45:17).  The Psalmist declared, “I will bless the Lord at all times, his praises shall continually be in my mouth.”  The question that begs to be answered and remains to be seen is will the Millennial Generation born between 1980 and 2000, and raised in a postmodern era where choice is abundant, there are no absolutes and technology is ever-changing – will they bless the Lord?   
If the Millennial Generation is to “bless the Lord at all times,” they will need much more spiritual nurturing and guidance from the preceding generations, Generation X, the Baby Boomers, and the Silents.  Although there is a lot of good news to report statistically, relationally, educationally, and potentially financially for the Millennials, one ominous statistic remains, this population is largely apathetic to and uninvolved with church.   Roughly, only one-fourth of Millennials attend church weekly.  Consequently, many Millennials do not know what they believe or why they believe it as they cannot clearly define their beliefs.  Getting to know young adults under age 33 must become priority to the church as no church exists without a multi generational mix of some sort.  Theirs is a vast mission field.  Helping them come to know and remember the name of the Lord is how we advance the Kingdom in this age.
This paper/series will give an overview of the demographics, the cultural influences, employment and investment matters, and ministry applications for discipling Millennials into internally strong believers capable of effectively sharing their faith and the gospel of Jesus Christ with non-believers and people of non-Christian beliefs.

 Excerpts from my research paper, The Millennials, will be posted here this week as a seven-part series..  If you would like the entire paper, download it from the Jesus Saves Social Network. This paper was written in partial fulfillment of course work for the Masters of Theology program at Campbellsville University, June 2013. All rights reserved.

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